Looking for Bunka recommendations.

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Perverockstar

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KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chefs knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)? Bunka

Are you right or left handed? Right handed

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle? Western or octagonal/heptagonal WA.

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)? 165-180mm

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no) Yes

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife? 500 EUR, I can stretch it a little bit for something that looks very special.



KNIFE USE
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment? This one is gonna be only for home and special ocassions.

What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? A general purpose knife, hence why I want a bunka.

What knife, if any, are you replacing? None.

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? I switch grips according to what I'm cutting. Pinch grip, most of the time. But I also use handle grip and sometimes I put my index on the spine.

What cutting motions do you primarily use? I also switch cutting motions according to the task. Rocking and push/pull slicing. So the knife should have some flatness behind but a little bit of belly towards the tip.

What improvements do you want from your current knife? NA

Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)? I have no preference for the finish BUT it has to be more than just a plain looking blade. No kurouchi. I'd also appreciate scratch resistance.

Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)? As long as the handle feels nice to the hand and the knife feels balanced.

Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)?

Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)? This does not matter a lot, since the knife would not see a lot of use at home. This knife is intended to be part of my personal collection for private use.



KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.) Wood and plastic.

Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.) Yes I do.

If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.) Yes

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.) Yes



SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS

I'm considering the Kisuke ATS-34 Bunka 170mm. Any input on this one? It seems to tick all the right boxes and I really like the look of it. Maybe someone with personal experience with it can provide me with her/his impressions.
 

McMan

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A couple notes...

You mention using the knife for rock chopping. But a bunka profile is poorly suited to rock chopping. Bunka profiles have a very low tip, a flat profile, and very little belly--factors that excel in push cutting but limit rock chopping. For a bunka, think santoku profile (or sometimes flatter than that), but with a k-tip.

You mention you want a "general purpose knife", 165-170mm. It's tough to have a knife that length be general purpose because the length impacts the things it can do...
All this to say that it might make more sense to consider a 180mm or 210mm gyuto plus and a 165mm petty. This would have the benefit of a knife suited to "general purpose" tasks (the gyuto), but also better suited to rock chopping as compared to a bunka, and then a petty because, well, there'll be some money left over :)

In terms of 180mm stainless gyuto, I like gesshin ginga for a laser and saji damascus for VG-10.

But if your hearts set on a bunka, the Yoshikane hakata in SKD is fun:
 
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I have a SHARP Knife Shop Ittestsu X-Hammer Bunka and I think it looks and performs well above it's price point. It's got a good bit of belly for pretty good rocking. In fact, for me, it's a little too curved as I like them really flat.

It looks sharp, is well executed with a nice steel and good, slicey grind without being too delicate.

 

WiriWiri

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A couple notes...

You mention using the knife for rock chopping. But a bunka profile is poorly suited to rock chopping. Bunka profiles have a very low tip, a flat profile, and very little belly--factors that excel in push cutting but limit rock chopping. For a bunka, think santoku profile (or sometimes flatter than that), but with a k-tip.

You mention you want a "general purpose knife", 165-170mm. It's tough to have a knife that length be general purpose because the length impacts the things it can do...
All this to say that it might make more sense to consider a 180mm or 210mm gyuto plus and a 165mm petty. This would have the benefit of a knife suited to "general purpose" tasks (the gyuto), but also better suited to rock chopping as compared to a bunka, and then a petty because, well, there'll be some money left over :)

In terms of 180mm stainless gyuto, I like gesshin ginga for a laser and saji damascus for VG-10.

But if your hearts set on a bunka, the Yoshikane hakata in SKD is fun:

Would totally agree with this. Often a bunka is largely near identical to a santoku in profile, with the low tip similarly tending to share the limitations. Generally you’ll get more variety and versatility between gyuto profiles to provide more of a distinct difference from the rest of your collection

I’m also a bit cynical about the rise of the Bunka in recent years, which seems to be driven by market demand in the west as much as anything else. Some of the homespun associations with housewifes and the quaint ‘three virtues‘ santoku spiel seems to have led to a rebrand of the similar, but slightly more masculine-pointed bunka. a pepsi max/mantoku option that opens up new sales opportunities.
 

Delat

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Would totally agree with this. Often a bunka is largely near identical to a santoku in profile, with the low tip similarly tending to share the limitations. Generally you’ll get more variety and versatility between gyuto profiles to provide more of a distinct difference from the rest of your collection

I’m also a bit cynical about the rise of the Bunka in recent years, which seems to be driven by market demand in the west as much as anything else. Some of the homespun associations with housewifes and the quaint ‘three virtues‘ santoku spiel seems to have led to a rebrand of the similar, but slightly more masculine-pointed bunka. a pepsi max/mantoku option that opens up new sales opportunities.

I was using a 180 gyuto thinking, “I really like this length, but I could use a little more height for my guiding hand”. Voila, 180 bunka; it has a nice pointy tip for detail work that santokus lack.

Weirdly both my bunka and santoku have fairly curved profiles - they’re basically scaled down gyutos vs what I would actually consider legit santoku/bunka profiles. So when I need a flat profile ironically I break out the 210 yoshikane gyuto. Also ironically the yoshikane 180 santoku isn’t any flatter than the 210 gyuto.
 
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I was using a 180 gyuto thinking, “I really like this length, but I could use a little more height for my guiding hand”. Voila, 180 bunka; it has a nice pointy tip for detail work that santokus lack.

Weirdly both my bunka and santoku have fairly curved profiles - they’re basically scaled down gyutos vs what I would actually consider legit santoku/bunka profiles. So when I need a flat profile ironically I break out the 210 yoshikane gyuto. Also ironically the yoshikane 180 santoku isn’t any flatter than the 210 gyuto.

Yeah there is just way too much crossover any more to tightly bracket these more general purpose knives. There's flat gyuto and curved nakiri. It's not unreasonable to point out traditional propensities of a knife style but I think you have to be careful about more absolute declarations.

My two bunkas have dramatically different profiles.

I'll also never understand why people insist on telling others that they really need a 210 or 240 to be truly really versatile. My 165-180 knives meet 90+% of my daily driver needs. I grab my 210+ gyuto/chef knives less often than I do my favorite petty. If your style and needs favor the longer knives, that is awesome, rock on and it's great to mention it but it doesn't mean it is the same for everyone or that others haven't adequately thought their choices through.
 
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rob

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If you really like the look of Bunka ( I do ) and like to rock chop.
Some of the Kurosaki Bunka have a bit more belly. It is a little hard to see in the photo but the ones i own aren't very flat.

Screen Shot 2022-02-10 at 12.36.59 pm.png
 

Perverockstar

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A couple notes...

You mention using the knife for rock chopping. But a bunka profile is poorly suited to rock chopping. Bunka profiles have a very low tip, a flat profile, and very little belly--factors that excel in push cutting but limit rock chopping. For a bunka, think santoku profile (or sometimes flatter than that), but with a k-tip.

You mention you want a "general purpose knife", 165-170mm. It's tough to have a knife that length be general purpose because the length impacts the things it can do...
All this to say that it might make more sense to consider a 180mm or 210mm gyuto plus and a 165mm petty. This would have the benefit of a knife suited to "general purpose" tasks (the gyuto), but also better suited to rock chopping as compared to a bunka, and then a petty because, well, there'll be some money left over :)

In terms of 180mm stainless gyuto, I like gesshin ginga for a laser and saji damascus for VG-10.

But if your hearts set on a bunka, the Yoshikane hakata in SKD is fun:

It is worth noticing that I already have a 180mm Gyuto for home and that I'm also getting a 210mm one.

I also work in a professional kitchen and I have two bunkas and 3 gyutos for there.


So I know for sure that a bunka in that size works for me.

Already considered the Yoshikane Hakata and looks quite interesting, but the spine worries me, since I tend to drag ingredients with it.
 

Perverockstar

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It is worth noticing that I already have a 180mm Gyuto for home and that I'm also getting a 210mm one.

I also work in a professional kitchen and I have two bunkas and 3 gyutos for there.


So I know for sure that a bunka in that size works for me.

Already considered the Yoshikane Hakata and looks quite interesting, but the spine worries me, since I tend to drag ingredients with it.

It is also worth noticing that for my private use/collection, I want something above an OEM and similar knives, if that makes sense.

BTW, maybe I forgot to mention that I like wide bevels.
 
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tim huang

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KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chefs knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)? Bunka

Are you right or left handed? Right handed

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle? Western or octagonal/heptagonal WA.

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)? 165-180mm

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no) Yes

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife? 500 EUR, I can stretch it a little bit for something that looks very special.



KNIFE USE
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment? This one is gonna be only for home and special ocassions.

What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? A general purpose knife, hence why I want a bunka.

What knife, if any, are you replacing? None.

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? I switch grips according to what I'm cutting. Pinch grip, most of the time. But I also use handle grip and sometimes I put my index on the spine.

What cutting motions do you primarily use? I also switch cutting motions according to the task. Rocking and push/pull slicing. So the knife should have some flatness behind but a little bit of belly towards the tip.

What improvements do you want from your current knife? NA

Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)? I have no preference for the finish BUT it has to be more than just a plain looking blade. No kurouchi. I'd also appreciate scratch resistance.

Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)? As long as the handle feels nice to the hand and the knife feels balanced.

Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)?

Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)? This does not matter a lot, since the knife would not see a lot of use at home. This knife is intended to be part of my personal collection for private use.



KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.) Wood and plastic.

Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.) Yes I do.

If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.) Yes

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.) Yes



SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS

I'm considering the Kisuke ATS-34 Bunka 170mm. Any input on this one? It seems to tick all the right boxes and I really like the look of it. Maybe someone with personal experience with it can provide me with her/his impressions.
https://www.**************.com/nisg2dabu17.html
 

blokey

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While not completely stainless, Yoshikane SKD is very stain resistant and if they are grind like their gyuto, would be an awesome cutter.
 

Perverockstar

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I really love my Shibata Kotetsu Bunka. Very thin and lasery, nicely convexed (as mush as is can be with a sub 2mm spine), so food release isn’t too bad. Beautifully balanced. Full stainless.

I tried one, they are really nice. My co-worker has both, the regular and the small one.

I'm looking for something with a little bit more bling though.
 

Perverockstar

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Linkes to a store named Chef Knives To Go are replaced with stars here...
Then it was what I thought xD I'm kind of surprised that I could read through those abbreviations like that. Specially since I just got into the hobby a couple of months ago.

I guess it is a sign of my current obsession.

Still, no one with experience with the Kisuke ATS-34?
 
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blokey

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Also Ryusen knives are really nice, they do feel like OEM since they did OEM works before, but the grind and F&F is just perfect.


 
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